Queen Eva is making preparations of Young Snow's birthday ball when her daughter comes to show her the new birthday dress that she'll be wearing. Eva takes Snow to their quarters to give her a gift: the queen's crown, passed down from mother to daughter for generations. As they go in, they find their servant, Johanna, trying on the crown. Snow scolds her and Eva apologizes on behalf of her daughter. She tells Snow that everyone in the kingdom deserves love and respect, and that everyone is the same. Eva asks Snow what the ball represents, and corrects her when she says that it's in honor of her. The queen explains that it's for Snow to honor her people and show them that she will always hold goodness for them in her heart. Snow says that she understands and her mother gives her the crown... and collapses, deathly ill. Johanna goes to get the Royal Doctor while Snow runs to her mother's side.
David is making breakfast at the apartment and Mary Margaret tells him that she knows what he's trying to do. He admits that he thought she would change her mind about celebrating her birthday once the curse broke, but Mary Margaret says that she still feels the same. As they talk, Mary Margaret notices a birthday present on the table and David explains that someone left it at their doorstep and he brought it in. Mary Margaret opens it and finds her crown inside, along with a note from Johanna. David and Mary Margaret were unaware that Johanna was still alive and in Storybrooke, and Mary Margaret decides to see her. David wishes her a happy birthday as she goes and wishes that the day made her happier. However, Mary Margaret tells him that they both know that it can't.
David goes to work at the sheriff' office, but Hook ambushes him, knocks him out, and recovers his hook from the evidence cabinet.
Mary Margaret finds Johanna's house and they hug each other. Johanna tells Mary Margaret that she found the crown in Gold's shop and bought it, knowing that she had to give it to her former employer. Mary Margaret notices the lilies that Johanna is growing in her garden and the former servant explains that they grow in any season, and that she is raising them in honor of Eva. As they talk, Mary Margaret hears someone moving in the nearby forest and goes to investigate. She watches as Cora and Regina uses Gold's map to try and search for the Dark One's dagger. Cora wonders if Hook lied to them when he translated it, but assures Regina that it doesn't matter because she can use her magic to decipher it eventually. Once they have the dagger, they can use it to force Rumpelstiltskin to kill for them.
Mary Margaret goes to find her husband and wakes him up. He tells her what happened and they realize that Cora plans to find the Dark One's dagger and control him… or become the Dark One herself. Mary Margaret tells David that she already left a message for Gold on Emma's phone. Until he calls back, she suggests that they slow down Regina by playing on her doubt of Cora, and offers to call Regina and set up a meeting.
In Manhattan, Neal takes the others on a tour of the city. While he goes to get pizza with Henry, Emma worries that Henry will never forgive her, but Gold tells her that the boy will eventually forgive his mother. He asks Emma to convince Neal to come back to Storybrooke, and warns her that Henry will eventually run away to find his father, just as he ran away to find Emma. Emma figures that Neal will eventually let Henry down like he did with her, but Gold suspects that Emma is more concerned with protecting herself than her son. He suggests that Emma wants a second chance with her former lover, but Emma denies it. Neal and Henry come back and Neal says that he's going to take Henry to the museum. As they go, Henry makes another comment reminding Emma that she lied to him.
Mary Margaret arranges a meeting with Regina at the diner, claiming that she's heard from Henry. When Regina gets there, Mary Margaret admits that she hasn't talked to Regina and tells her that she knows the former mayor is working with her mother. Mary Margaret gives Regina one last chance to choose good, but Regina insists that she was always good and it was only Mary Margaret that gave her a reputation of being evil. She points out that being "good" got her were insincere acceptance from people that will never forgive her, and tells Mary Margaret to stay out of her way. Regina gets up to go and Mary Margaret warns her that Cora doesn't care about Henry except as a way to use him to gain power. Disgusted, Regina asks Mary Margaret what she knows about mothers and walks out.
After the Royal Doctor examines Eva, he tells Snow that he isn't sure what's wrong with the queen. He has Johanna summon the king from his journey and leaves, while Snow goes to her mother. Eva says that she'll be fine in time for her daughter's birthday but Snow insists that her birthday doesn't matter. Snow goes out and Johanna hugs her, and then admits that where medicine has failed, magic may succeed in curing Eva. She suggests that Snow may be able to call upon a fairy who grants wishes if the requestor's heart is true. Snow insists that it is and Johanna tells her to go to a clearing in the woods and wish upon a blue star.
As Henry talks to Gold about the fact that the pawnbroker is his grandfather, Neal tells Emma that he's trying his best with their son. Emma says that she'll have to take Henry back to Storybrooke and suggests that Neal should come with them. Before Neal can respond, they arrive at his apartment and Neal goes upstairs with Henry to get his camera for their trip to the museum. Hook comes in behind Emma, knocks her out, and then slams Gold against the wall, piercing his chest with his hook. As Hook prepares to finish the job, Emma clubs him unconscious from behind. Neal and Henry hear the commotion and come running down to investigate. As Neal examines his father, concerned, he recognizes Hook, much to Emma's surprise.
Emma locks Hook up in a storage room and finds a map on him. They realize that he sailed from Storybrooke to New York on his cloaked pirate ship, Neal describes the ship as being able to sail between worlds and then tries to tend to his father. Henry goes to his grandfather but Gold shoves him away, saying that it's the boy's fault that he was hurt. They realize that Hook's hook had poison on it and Gold is dying, and they can only cure him in Storybrooke using magic. A car won't be fast enough and Neal suggests that they use Hook's ship... and admits that he knows how to sail it.
Mary Margaret and David go to the nunnery to see Mother Superior. She realizes what Cora and Regina can do with the dagger immediately and the couple ask for her help.
Snow goes into the woods and starts to make a wish, but the Blue Fairy appears immediately, saying that she could sense someone in need. When Snow tells her what she needs, the Blue Fairy warns that fairy magic is the purest magic of all, and cheating death requires black magic. Snow realizes that the fairy is holding something back and asks what she can do. The Blue Fairy admits that there is a form of magic that is forbidden to her kind except under the most dire of circumstances. She asks Snow to promise not to ever tell anyone what she's offering and then gives the girl a candle. The Blue Fairy explains that it can save a life but only at the cost of sacrificing another life. She instructs Snow in how to use it, but the girl insists that she can't kill someone, even to save her mother's life. The Blue Fairy warns her that if she doesn't then Eva will die.
Neal makes a call to arrange for a car and admits that he spent some time in another world before coming to this one. Henry checks Emma's phone and finds Mary Margaret's message explaining that Regina is seeking the danger. Emma warns Gold that if Mary Margaret and David don't find it then Regina and Cora will obtain it and control him. However, the pawnbroker refuses to tell Emma, insisting that it hasn't been discovered in centuries and never will. Emma tells him that he's going to have to trust someone eventually and that he should start with his family.
Mary Margaret, David, and the Mother Superior go to Gold's shop. The Mother Superior tries to use her wand to get in but discovers that Gold's protection spell is too powerful. David suggests that they use black magic and Snow agrees, reminding the Mother Superior that she once gave her black magic to cure Eva. The Mother Superior doesn't remember the conversation. However, before she can ask Snow for more details, Emma calls David and tells him that Gold said where he hid his dagger. David tells the others what he's learned and looks up at the clock tower on the library.
Snow returns to her mother's chambers and tells Eva what happened. She confesses that she couldn't bring herself to kill another to save Eva's life, and the queen assures her daughter that it's all right. Snow's failure to kill proves that she has the strength to resist the darkness and rule kingdom as a great queen. Snow begs her mother not to leave her but Eva tells her that as long as Snow holds the spirit of goodness in heart, she'll never leave her. As Eva passes away, Johanna snugs the crying child.
David and Mary Margaret go to the top of the clock tower and David removes the dagger from where it was tied to one of the clock hands. Before they can do more than grasp it, Regina and Cora teleport in. Mary Margaret tells Regina that good has won but Cora teleports Johanna in. Regina takes the woman's heart and tells Mary Margaret to turn over the dagger or watch her friend die.
As Snow dresses in black for Eva's funeral, Johanna gives her the crown and tells Snow that the kingdom will find strength through her goodness, and Snow will find strength in what Eva told her. Snow downs the crown and goes to the funeral. After laying a lily on her mother's chest, Snow kneels and the people join with her. Snow remains kneeling for hours until long after everyone else has left. Johanna finally tells the girl that it's time to let Eva go. Once they leave, the Blue Fairy flies in... and Cora drops her disguise. She goes to Eva and says admits that her daughter doesn't love her the way that Snow loves Eva. Cora then even though she failed this time, she will eventually darken Snow's heart, destroying Eva and her legacy, and then Eva will know what Cora went through as the daughter of a miller.
Cora easily disarms David when he tries to draw his gun. She taunts Mary Margaret, talking about how she refused to use the candle, and Mary Margaret realizes that only Cora would know what happened, meaning she was disguised as the Blue Fairy. She also realizes that Cora poisoned Eva and the sorceress admits that the candle would have worked. When Mary Margaret wonders why, Cora explains that she killed Eva so that Regina could become queen. Mary Margaret insists that she won't let them win again but Regina prepares to crush Johanna's heart and a sobbing Mary Margaret finally drops the dagger. Cora snatches it up and Regina returns Johanna' heart to her chest. Johanna goes to Mary Margaret... and Cora smashes her through the clock face, letting her fall to her death on the street below. The two women teleport away as Mary Margaret breaks into tears.
Regina and Cora go to the mayor's office and Cora asks her daughter why she's troubled. After considering the matter, Regina asks why her mother didn't tell her about her involvement in Eva's death. Cora says that she didn't want to burden Regina with it, but Reregina realizes that Cora set it up so that she would rescue Snow as part of her plans for Snow and her family. Cora wonders if Regina's realization changes anything, and Regina wonders why they still need Rumplestiltskin's dagger. She points out that it's useless to them as a means to force Gold to kill Emma, Mary Margaret, and David without Henry realizing that Cora is responsible, now that they will tell Henry what happened. However, Cora assures her daughter that she has a way to achieve what they both want.
As Emma and Neal go to the car he's borrowing from a friend, Emma admits that she's surprised that he's helping his father. Neal insists that Gold is his father no matter what, and Emma figures that it will be good for Henry to spend time with his father. As they get to the car, Neal starts to explain who he's borrowing it from. However, a woman, Tamara, comes over and interrupts them. She asks Neal why he needs the car and he reluctantly introduces her to Emma as his fiance.
After Johanna's funeral, Mary Margaret wonders how many people will die because she keeps doing the right thing. She reminds David that if she had let Regina be executed years ago, none of their troubles would have happened. David assures her that they keep beating Regina, but Mary Margaret wonders if the cost is worth it. When David points out that the dagger is useless until Gold returns to Storybrooke and they still have time to bring Cora and Regina to justice, Mary Margaret tells her husband that she doesn't want to bring them to justice. She vows to kill Cora once and for all.